Evolution of Combat Performance of the Hawk Light Combat Aircraft
BRITISH AEROSPACE PLC KINGSTON-UPON-THAMES (UNITED KINGDOM)
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The paper reviews the progressive evolution of the BAe Hawk from its original concept as the advanced flying trainer aircraft for the RAF to the currently planned developments as a light attack aircraft. The developments are described in aerodynamics propulsion and systems to give improvement in performance and weapon delivery capability appropriate to effective light attack operational roles. The Hawk concept originated from the decision in the 1970s for the RAF to reorganise its flying training from the previous multi-aircraft system to a more integrated system in which advanced training could be accomplished on a single aircraft capable of taking the trainee pilot from the basic level to advanced flying training, weapon training and on to operational training. In parallel with this RAF concept of integrated training the Hawk was also conceived in design as capable of development towards a light attack aircraft. These developments from the two-seat training version were through systems, performance and weapon capability developments, within controlled cost targets suited to potential market opportunities and local defence requirements.